Innovation on Australian Mango Farms – It’s all about collaboration.

The Australian mango industry will reap the benefits from farm-level innovation. Our dynamic collaboration is between mango growers, CQUniversity Institute for Future Farming Systems, and hashtag#agtech commercialisation with Freelance Robotics’ child company Agricultural Robotics. Critical to success is the support of government and research facilities like Walkamin. This innovation cycle, from identifying grower needs to developing and deploying fit-for-purpose ag-tech, can transform an industry.

The innovation process begins with mango growers, who are at the frontline of agricultural challenges. Their hands-on experience and insights are crucial in pinpointing specific problems and inefficiencies that need addressing. Issues such as labour shortages, pest control, irrigation efficiency, optimal harvesting timing and resourcing are common areas of concern.

Our program’s focus on practical, real-world applications ensures that the research is not just theoretically sound, but also practical and viable. Once potential solutions are developed, they undergo testing through informed trials on mango farms. Feedback from growers during this phase is invaluable, guiding further refinements and adjustments. Afterall, this technology is for them.

The end result of this collaborative process is the creation of commercial ag-tech products that are fit for purpose. Australian designed and made, these products look to meet the precise needs identified by growers, helping them be effective in addressing specific challenges. Currently entering market is the FruitMaps orchard management information system and the Orion Vision Rig, with the Orion Auto Harvester coming up on the horizon.

Ultimately, ag-tech is simply another tool on the farm. Automation and precision technologies aim to streamline farm operations, reducing labour costs and increasing productivity. Higher efficiency and better crop information can translate to increased profitability for growers. Additionally, the adoption of cutting-edge technologies can open up new markets and opportunities for Australian mangoes.

The relationship between all of us – the mango growers, Central Queensland University, government stakeholders, marketers, Hort Innovation, and our child company Agricultural Robotics – is driven to support on farm decision making and innovation. By aligning research with the practical needs of growers and rigorously testing new technologies in real-world conditions, this collaborative approach ensures that the innovations developed are both effective and commercially viable. Our model of collaborative innovation not only addresses current challenges, but aims to paves the way for a more resilient and prosperous future for industry.

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